USSEC Japan recently organized a mini U.S. Soy oil roundtable inviting Japan Oilseed Processors Association (JOPA), Japan Oil & Fat Importers and Exporters Association (JOFIEA), and FAS Tokyo. The meeting included USSEC Country Director – Japan Mitsuyuki Nishimura; USSEC North Asia Regional Human Utilization (HU) Manager & Japan HU Director Masi Tateishi; Akira Saito, executive director of JOPA; Kazugumi Aramoto, secretary general of JOFIEA, David Miller, Agricultural Counselor, Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) Tokyo; Jess Paulsen, Agricultural Attaché, FAS Tokyo; and Yuichi Hayashi, Agricultural Specialist, FAS Tokyo.
The team discussed recent news from the vegetable oil market and USSEC’s ongoing soy oil activities, as well as recent soybean import. USSEC is pleased to announce that the U.S. soybean exports to Japan, the third largest market for U.S. Soy exports, increased 26.10 percent or 482,621 metric tons (MT) in 2015 from the previous year, while Japan’s total soybean import was up 414,714 MT or 14.70 percent.
According to Japan Trade statistics, the U.S. market share in Japan improved from 65.39 percent to 71.91 percent. This was due to Japanese soybean crush in 2015 increasing to 2,248,240 MT, up 12.9 percent or 256,000 MT, from 2014 because of a better crush margin of soybean than canola. As a result, Japanese soy oil production in 2015 increased to 431,884 MT, up 10.1 percent from 2014.
Increased identity preserved (IP) food grade soybean imports have also contributed to the increase, along with a greater U.S. market share over the last four to five years. Japan’s total IP food grade soybeans import was up 5.9 percent between 2011 and 2014. In 2012, 310,000 MT of U.S. IP food grade soybeans were exported to Japan, giving the U.S. a 43 percent market share. That number rose to 370,000 MT in 2014, giving the U.S. a 48 percent market share. Therefore, U.S. market share rose five percent during the two-year period from 2012 to 2014, and the volume of U.S. IP food grade soybean import increased 19.35 percent or 60,000 MT, and a further increase is estimated for 2015 statistics.
USSEC believes the increase in the U.S. market share is a combination of external environment and its accumulated steady efforts on creating a preference for U.S. Soy by building and maintaining relationships through trade servicing activities, especially the message of the U.S. commitment to remaining a stable, consistent and sustainable supplier, which has permeated and eased Japan’s past trade concerns on the capability of the U.S. to supply commodity soybeans as well as non-GMO IP food grade soybeans to Japan.
USSEC Japan will continue to work on U.S. Soy 0il promotion, which includes collaboration with JOPA to conduct a soy oil seminar as well as an industrial use seminar in FY16.